The Cougars, now 23-3 and first place at 7-2 in the West Coast Conference, fended off two challenges by Portland at the beginning and end of Saturday’s contest.
The Pilots, now 13-15 and 1-5, got a two-run homer in the ninth inning to make it uncomfortable for the Cougars with the tying run at the plate before junior right-hander Mason Marshall closed the door to secure the BYU victory.
“The difference in this game was Hayden's (Rogers) six strong innings and our execution on the defensive side,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said.
Rogers improved his record to 3-0 with six innings of relief pitching, striking out five and allowing just two hits. He added a back-pick at first base with two runners on in the fourth, just like starter Connor Williams had done in the second. Williams had to leave the game after two innings due to an allergic reaction.
Initially trailing 1-0, the Cougars took a 2-1 lead in the third when Shaver hit a two-run single with the bases loaded. Shaver also laid down a bunt to lead off the seventh, the fourth bunt single of the day for BYU.
BYU expanded its lead to 5-1 in the fifth inning with the bases loaded thanks to consecutive bunt singles from Brennon Lund and Hayden Nielsen. Brock Hale singled in the first run, then Shaver and Brennon Anderson hit sacrifice flies. Shaver's RBI was his third of the day as he along with Lund, Nielsen and Hale all batted 2-for-4.
“I'm so proud of our guys for coming out three days in a row and playing hard,” Littlewood said. “It's tough to sweep anyone, but doing it on the road and in league play is a huge accomplishment.”
The sweep over Portland was the fourth of the season for BYU, who previously shut out Saint Louis, Kansas and Niagara.
The Cougars get ready quickly for Monday afternoon’s hosting of Arizona at 2 p.m. MDT, starting a five-game home stand at Miller Park.